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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Norms Violated: Tractors replace workers in Balangir

The Khaprakhol block under Patnagarh sub-division made headlines recently for malnutrition and starvation deaths. Nothing much has changed since then. Mass exodus from the district continues unabated in the absence of livelihood opportunities.

However, at a time when locals are claiming that nonavailability of work is forcing them to migrate, Watershed Mission has been using tractors for earth work which should have been done manually as per the norms.

Reports said after the villages of Maharapada, Kuturla, Nandupala, Chanchanbahali, Bandepadar, Kandarabhata, Nuapali, Banmal, and Damnimal under Khaprakhol block were identified as droughtprone, various drought-proofing works were undertaken under Western Orissa Rural Livelihood Project (WORLP) which has been implemented in Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts.

But instead of undertaking earth work manually, which would have provided the local landless and those having marginal land holding with work, the Watershed Project is being done mechanically using tractors. And the tractors deployed are owned by people of Rajasthan.

Since these tractors have attachments to dig and excavate soil, they are much in demand.

While villagers claimed that they are being deliberately denied work, officials said since the funds for the projects were lying unspent for the last two years, they are forced to get the work done mechanically.

Haribandhu Dharua of Patnagarh Soil Conservation Office, who is incharge of the Jai Jagannath watershed project, clarified that the decision had to be taken in the absence of labour force and on the direction of the Project Director.

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Welcome to the land of culture "Koshal" . Koshal is the land of great warriors. The land of Maharaja's.The land of Maa Samalei, World famous sambalpuri saree , great teracotta works, land of tantrik Vidya, world famous Sambalpuri music and dance.

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